Reviewing 2023: Retirement Podcast Resource List

Every week, we have podcasts come out, and as new listeners find us, it can get very tedious to find all the resources we provide. This week we have prepared an End of 2023 wrap up to highlight some of the episodes from this year. 

Reviewing 2023’s Episode List 

Finding an episode on your respective listening platform will vary, so we’re going to provide: 

  • Title 
  • Episode number 
  • Date 

We’ll also link to the location on our website where you can listen to each podcast to make it a bit easier to find. 

Ep. 193 – Navigating The Decision to Retire Now or Work Longer – January 16, 2023 

If you’re wondering if you can retire or if you’re ready to retire, you’ll love this episode. It can be an overwhelming process, so we take some time to outline important considerations such as: 

  • Budgeting 
  • Health and Age 
  • Goal and Interests 

This episode helps you think through your financial readiness to secure your retirement. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 197 – 10 Reasons Everyone Needs a Power of Attorney in Retirement – February 13, 2023 

Anything can happen at any time. A Power of Attorney, particularly a Durable Power of Attorney, is one that we’ve seen come up a lot this year with clients. Disability or incapacitation can happen at any time. 

We outline 10 very important reasons to have your Power of Attorney documents in order, including: 

  • Protecting Privacy 
  • Dealing with Tax Matters 
  • Having Someone to Manage Your Finances 

A Power of Attorney is up there in importance with your will and HIPAA authorization. 

You’ll learn the ins and outs of Power of Attorney documents in this episode. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 201 – Do You Need a Trust in Retirement? – March 13, 2023 

We did quite a few episodes on trusts this year because they’re such an important part of retirement planning. We’ve partnered with professionals in this area so that our clients can easily have a trust put in place for them. 

In this episode, we interview Andres Mazabel at Trust & Will. He addresses the common question, “Do I Need a Trust?”, to really help you understand if a trust is right for you or not. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 204 – Social Security Spousal Benefit in Retirement – April 3, 2023 

Social Security has a lot of complications, which is why we brought Heather Schreiber on to explain how spousal benefits work. In our example scenario, one client has worked their entire life, and his spouse did not. 

His spouse assumed that without working, she wouldn’t have Social Security, but we explained how she would receive $1,700 a month in benefits. 

For many couples, an additional $1,700 in benefits is completely finance-altering. If you’re close to Social Security age, this is certainly a good episode to listen to. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 208 – Maximizing Tax Benefits by “Bunching” – May 1, 2023 

If you’re charitably inclined, you can leverage “bunching” and donor-advised funds to save money on your taxes. In the episode, we discuss how you can bunch multiple years of contributions into one so that you can take a larger deduction. 

Utilizing this strategy has saved some of our clients hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 217 – You Have Enough to Retire, but How Do You Create an Income – July 3, 2023 

Creating income is challenging when you’re in the accumulation phase of life transitioning into the retirement phase. In this episode, we discuss how to put assets into buckets and methods that you can follow to have a consistent income. 

We talk about sequence of return risks and how to really have fun in retirement. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 219 – Annuities or CDs – What You Should Consider – July 17, 2023 

Last year, interest rates rose. For annuities and CDs, interest rates were favorable and therefore quite attractive to many people. In this episode, we cover what you need to think about when deciding between an annuity and a CD. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 223 – Protecting Against Cybersecurity Threats – August 14, 2023 

Cybersecurity is something that you may not expect to see on this list, but it’s a crucial topic that demands attention. Around this time of year (the holiday season), threats increase dramatically. 

You may receive spam and phishing threats from many directions, including texts and emails. 

We outline 14 items for you to consider to help protect yourself from these threats going into 2024. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 224 – Long-Term Care Planning Options – August 21, 2023 

Long-term care planning is something no one wants to think about, but it’s something that you really must dive into before you need it. Our guest Jessica Iverson talks with us about how this form of planning has evolved, the breakdown of increasing costs, and alternative options that are available. 

You do have options where you’re not stuck in a “use it or lose it” scenario, which is what we cover in great detail in this episode. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 226 – Integrated Wealth Management Experience in Retirement – September 4, 2023 

In this episode, we look at what integrated wealth management means and how it works in our practice. You will be interested in this episode if you want to know how we address: 

  • Income and tax planning 
  • Estate planning 
  • Long-term care 
  • Social Security 
  • Medicare 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 231 – Social Security Taxation – How it Works in Retirement – October 9, 2023 

Many people are shocked to learn that they must pay taxes on their Social Security. We had our enrolled agent, Taylor Wolverton, CFP® walk us through: 

  • The factors and math behind Social Security Taxation 
  • How Social Security Taxation can impact your Retirement Planning 
  • How to know if you’ll be taxed on Social Security 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 234 – Roth IRA – 5-Year Rule – Your Retirement – Part 2 with Denise Appleby – October 30, 2023 

Denise Appleby was our special guest during this episode, and she discusses Roth IRAs in such great detail that it’s a must-listen. We go over the rules for Roth accounts and conversions from start to finish in a nice and easy manner. 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 235 – The Art of a Risk-Adjusted Portfolio in Retirement – November 6, 2023 

Risk in retirement exists, but you can use a risk-adjusted portfolio to hedge those risks. We explore determining risk tolerance and some of the strategy behind investment styles. We also take some time to define terms like: 

  • Core 
  • Tactical 
  • Structured notes 
  • Fixed income 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 236 – Rae Dawson – The Basics of a CCRC – November 13, 2023 

Note: Rae was also on for Episode 236 on November 27 (listen here) for Part 2. 

Rae teaches a class on Continuous Care Retirement Community (CCRCs) at Duke University, and joined us on the podcast to dive in on the basics, such as: 

  • When’s the best time to join a community? 
  • Should you do an upfront or rent-only scenario? 
  • What to think about when choosing a CCRC? 

Listen to the episode here. 

Ep. 239 – Anne Rhodes – Estate Planning– Simplified – December 4, 2023 

Anne Rhodes from helped us simplify estate planning in retirement. She works closely with us and our clients to explain: 

  • Legal documents you need 
  • Reasons to have a trust vs a will 
  • What certain documents do  

Listen to the episode here. 

We look forward to our new schedule going into 2024 where we’ll continue to provide relevant insights every Monday with a more structured format. 

Click here to schedule a call with us to discuss any of the topics above in greater detail. 

October 30, 2023 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for October 30, 2023

Roth IRA – 5-Year Rule – Your Retirement – Part 2 with Denise Appleby

Denise Appleby explains the nuances around two separate Roth IRA 5-year rules and what you need to take distributions from a Roth IRA if you’re aged 59 and a half or below. Listen in to learn the importance of starting your Roth IRA 5-year clock earlier and protecting your records to avoid paying taxes you don’t owe.


Roth IRA – 5-Year Rule – Part 2 with Denise Appleby

In our last podcast (read the blog here), we dove right into one of the most common questions our clients and listeners have: Roth IRAs and the 5-year rule. Well, we decided that we need to cover this topic even more in-depth and brought Denise Appleby on the show to clear up any confusion that you may have.

Roth IRA – 5-Year Rule – Part 2 with Denise Appleby

In our last podcast (read the blog here), we dove right into one of the most common questions our clients and listeners have: Roth IRAs and the 5-year rule. Well, we decided that we need to cover this topic even more in-depth and brought Denise Appleby on the show to clear up any confusion that you may have.

Denise is an expert in all things IRAs and an excellent consultant for these types of questions.

What are the 5-Year Rules?

Denise was quick to point out that it’s not the 5-year rule but the 5-year rules. Two main rules are in place and the challenge is determining which rule applies to you.

First 5-Year Rule

This rule is used to determine if a Roth IRA distribution is qualified. This rule starts January 1 on the first year that you fund your Roth IRA, and it never starts over.

For example:

  • 2010, you contribute to a Roth IRA
  • 2023, you start a new Roth IRA because you cleared out the original
  • When did the 5-year period start? January 1, 2010.

Second 5-Year Rule

The second 5-year rule only pertains to you if you’re not eligible for a qualified distribution. Under this rule, we’re looking at Roth conversions and their distributions. If you withdraw the money that you put in within the first 5 years, you’re subject to a 10% distribution penalty.

However, the rule is very complex because it starts over with each conversion.

For example:

  • In 2020, you perform a Roth conversion
  • You take a distribution in 2023

The distribution would come from the 2020 conversion first before any conversion you do at a later date, if that applies.

This rule can be very hard to wrap your head around without an example.

Whose Responsibility Is It to Track Distributions and the 5-Year Rule?

Each conversion you make has a 5-year rule attached to it. Unfortunately, it’s your responsibility to track these conversions and how long ago they were made. For example, let’s assume that you convert $10,000 over the next 5 years.

The IRA custodian will not track these conversions. The IRS says that if a distribution is made and the IRA custodian doesn’t know the following, the custodian will report it as a non-qualified distribution without an exception:

  • If the person is eligible for an exception, or
  • If the person is eligible for a qualified distribution

It’s your burden to provide your tax preparer with the documentation necessary to show that the distributions are penalty-free. You can do this by keeping documents handy, such as your Form 5498.

You must protect yourself by keeping clear documentation of conversions. If you don’t keep proper records, you’ll pay penalties because there’s no proof that the distributions are non-qualified.

As you can see, there are a few nuances around the 5-year rule that can be complex and a bit tricky. Part of the reason why we’re diving deep into this rule for retirement planning is that you can leverage conversions now for tax planning purposes.

We know that unless there are significant legislative changes made before 2026, tax rates are going to go up.

Converting traditional IRAs to Roth accounts now may be beneficial for you and allow your money to grow tax-free. Most of our clients are doing conversions for future potential use way down the road or they’re doing it for their legacy. In these cases, the 5-year rule won’t matter to them.

With this in mind, let’s consider the following example:

Example 1: 60 Year Old with a Roth Balance of $100,000 that is Well Past the 5-Year Rule

If this person did a conversion last year of $100,000, do they have to wait five years to take distributions on this conversion? No. Because they are over the age 59 and a half, the second 5-year rule does not apply, and they can take a distribution without additional tax or penalty.

Anyone over age 59 and a half doesn’t need to track anything aside from having had a Roth account open for at least 5 years. You’re in a very nice place to be at age 60.

Because of this, we recommend that you establish a Roth account, even with a small contribution, as soon as possible. Why? Your five-year period starts ticking down the moment that the account opens. You could potentially not contribute to the account for years, but that five-year period will be ticking down, allowing you the freedom to do conversions in the future and still take distributions from the account without penalties.

Example 2: 50 Year Old, No Roth Account and Has Opportunity to Do a Roth Conversion

Imagine that this individual begins converting their accounts and assumes that they’ll wait until they’re at least 59 and a half to begin distributions. Life happens, and suddenly, the person does need to take money out of the account before then.

If they haven’t had the Roth IRA for 5 years and aren’t eligible for a distribution, then we need to look next at the ordering rules.

What are Ordering Rules?

Ordering rules pertain to your Roth IRA and distributions. Your distribution is taken from your account in the following levels:

  1. Regular Roth IRA contributions or money rolled over from Roth 401(k), 403(b), 457(b). These contributions come out first and are always tax- and penalty-free.
  2. Conversions from traditional SEPs and SIMPLEs and rollovers from the pre-tax side of 401(k) plans. Unless you qualify for an exception, these distributions will have a 10% penalty because of your age and not meeting the 5-year rule. What are the exceptions? If you converted the account at least 5 years prior, you could take distributions without penalty.
  3. Earnings, which are taxable and subject to the 10% penalty.

If you must take distributions early, you want to avoid taking money from levels 2 and 3. Level 2 money still has the 10% penalty unless you fall under very specific circumstances, and level 3 money is both taxable and comes with a penalty.

Example 3: 50 Year Old with Plans to Convert $10,000 Each Year Until 60, Never Had a Roth Before

Over the 10 years, the person has $100,000 in conversions in the account. The account has been open for five years, so one rule is checked off. The person is also 60, so they can start taking qualified distributions if they wish. Any distribution going forward is both tax-free and penalty-free. They can tap into growth without penalty as well. 

Legislatively, everything is always up in the air. Ages can change for these rules. A few years ago, the government did try to make changes to some Roth provisions, but they haven’t tried to do so recently.

Even the Secure Act 2.0 was very Roth-friendly.

Denise does not believe that Roth accounts are going anywhere any time soon because the IRS wants to be paid upfront. The IRS always wants to be paid as soon as possible, so it’s not likely that Roth accounts will be a major legislative target at this time.

Of course, things can change and new rules can be added, but we’ll keep you up to date on these occurrences.

Does a Roth 401(k) Start the 5-Year Clock?

No. A Roth 401(k) does not start the Roth IRA clock. The time that you’ve had the 401(k) open doesn’t apply to your IRA, which is very unfortunate.

What Should People Think About When It Comes to the 5-Year Rule?

Final points from Denise:

  • Having and contributing to Roth 401(k) is not the same as opening and contributing to a Roth IRA.
  • If a spouse beneficiary inherits a Roth IRA and the spouse treats it as their own, the 5-year period is considered to have begun at the earlier of the two spouse’s first Roth IRA contributions. However, if the funds are transferred to a beneficiary IRA, the accounts inherit the decedent’s period. Do you have documentation on these accounts?
  • Beneficiary IRA accounts allow for $10,000 to be used for a first-time home purchase without penalties.

Clearly, there is quite a lot to think about with Roth IRAs, conversions and the 5-year rule. Having an expert like Denise at your side is extremely beneficial when working on these accounts.

If you have any questions, you can schedule a free 15 minute call with us and we’ll be more than happy to have a conversation with you. We can even consult Denise on any complex questions.

June 5, 2023 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for June 5, 2023

This Week’s Podcast – Does The Rule 100 Work in Retirement?

The conversation around risk is extremely important for you to have an investment structure you’re comfortable with.

Listen in to learn why investment risk is subjective and should be looked at as an individual. You will also hear us perform an exercise to help you understand our numerically driven system that measures risk comfort.


This Week’s Blog – Does The Rule 100 Work in Retirement?

A rule of thumb around risk is the “Rule of 100.”  If you haven’t heard of this rule before, we’ll outline everything for you below so that you have a better understanding of it. Keep in mind that risk in investing is somewhat subjective, and needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

We have people ask, “What is my risk based on my age?” And this isn’t something that we really recommend. The “Rule of 100” is the rule of risk based on age.

Does The Rule of 100 Work in Retirement?

A rule of thumb around risk is the “Rule of 100.”  If you haven’t heard of this rule before, we’ll outline everything for you below so that you have a better understanding of it. Keep in mind that risk in investing is somewhat subjective, and needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

We have people ask, “What is my risk based on my age?” And this isn’t something that we really recommend. The “Rule of 100” is the rule of risk based on age.

What in the World is the “Rule of 100?”

The Rule of 100 takes your age and subtracts it to help you determine how much risk you can take when investing. For example, let’s assume that you’re 50. The equation would be: 100 – 50 = 50.

In this case, “50” is how much risk you can take.

So, based on this figure, you should keep 50% of your money at risk. If you’re like many 50-year-olds who feel like they have plenty of years left, it doesn’t make sense to stop 50% of your money from its growth potential. You can still have good risk control and keep this 50% of your money growing with relatively little risk.

Now, imagine you hit 70. You take 100 – 70 = 30, so 30% of your money can be at risk and in the market. For some people, this formula works well, but there are many people who want more risk.

You can have two people who earn the same money, accrued the same debts, and are the same age but have different risk tolerance based on their individual situations. One person may be fine with 4% growth per year, while another wants to achieve 12% growth and invest in riskier investments because they want to pay for their grandkids’ education.

What’s right for you?

We’ve adopted our own method of risk calculation that looks at the bigger picture to help you better understand your goals and what risks you must take to reach them.

Walking Through Our Conversation on Risk with Our Clients

Retirement planning is truly unique to each person. You may want to travel the world, while another person wants to spend their golden years tending to their garden. The goals and aspirations that you have for life in retirement must, in our belief, be a major contributing factor to your risk tolerance.

Our system is numerically driven and asks:

  • How do you feel about risk in a six-month window?
  • Say you have $1 million and lose 10%. Are you comfortable losing $100,000 in six months?

Many people believe that they’re comfortable with losing 10% of their investments until they see the hard figure in front of them. Let’s walk through an example of how we help our clients understand and determine their risks.

$1 million Retirement Roleplay

In this example, Radon has $1 million and has just walked into our office. 


Radon, you have $1 million to work with. We want to set you up for your retirement. We want to take risks and earn you money, but we want to create a portfolio that allows you to sleep well at night. We need to understand what that number is for you because everyone is different. 

If you look at the screen, Radon, we’ve put your million dollars here and have a slide rule in place that allows us to adjust your investment risks.

The slide starts in the middle here, and the middle is 14%. At this percentage, you have a risk of losing $140,000, but you can also have a nice gain, too.

Radon, I am going to move the slide all the way to the left, which is –4%, or $40,000. What I want you to do is, as I start moving the slider to the right, tell me where you think you feel uncomfortable with your losses.

We’re at 7%, or around $68,000 of loss. We’re now at 10%, or a $100,000 loss.”


What we find happens during this example is that the client starts to talk to themselves. For example, they may say that they didn’t feel good about losing 20% in 2022. The person then weighs their risk on what happened last year.

We recommend trying to look forward because the losses last year may never happen again. We often see clients tend to stop at 10% because losing $100,000 is tough to swallow. However, most people realize they need to let the market breathe a bit and can sleep at night with a 10% loss.

We’ve established our baseline at 10% because that’s our initial gut reaction, where we become uncomfortable with any further losses. The screen that is in front of the client will have the 10% in the middle and then have numbers on the left and right, which show lower and higher risk figures.

Now, let’s get back to our example discussion from above.


Radon, during this discussion, determines that he’s comfortable with a 10% loss on his $1 million, and this is the figure he doesn’t want to pass. 


Radon, you told me 10% on the downside is your limit, but what if we can improve that? Let me tell you. It’s different for different families. 

  • One person may receive the same reward of 10% while only having a 6% loss potential, or $60,000. This would be the left side.
  • One person may be comfortable with a 10% loss, but what if I can increase my gain potential to 16%? This would be the right side.

Radon, what looks better to you?


In this case, I think I am comfortable with the risk. I feel confident with a 10% risk, and if I had more reward, I would move to the right.


This exercise is thought-provoking because some people are comfortable with going to the right to have more reward, but others find it a no-brainer to lower their risk.

Keep in mind that Radon wouldn’t mind earning a little more at 10% risk. The software shows us that we can stay where we are at –10% downside, or we can go 16% – 19% growth. However, this would mean a 12% risk, or $120,000 potential loss.


Radon, which one looks better to you? Would you like to stay in the middle or take a little more risk for a lot more potential?


The rationale that I’m looking at right now is that I get quite a bit more upside for a little more risk, which is kind of in my comfortable range. Again, I am kind of nervous, but I think I can take it a little higher to make up for some of the losses in 2022. I don’t want to miss out on the potential that’s coming.

Let’s take it up one notch and see what happens.


Great. Pushing it up one notch, we’ve moved from a –10% to a –12% comfort level. Now, the last one is, what if we can earn better by going to –14% downside in a 6-month window?


I was already pushing it with the 12% risk, so I think I feel most comfortable staying in this range and not pushing my downside any higher.

Summing Up

These few questions and scenarios show a client the hard figures, which makes it possible to really identify their risk tolerance and the losses they feel most comfortable with in their portfolios.

Using these figures, we can create an investment plan that is within a risk category and create a growth plan that doesn’t exceed the client’s risk tolerance.

We will then use our bucket strategy to allocate all the clients’ funds to help them achieve the growth they want from their retirement accounts. The three buckets include: cash, income and safety, and then a growth bucket.

Risk tolerance allows us to create a one-page investment strategy that we give to our clients that helps them understand exactly how their portfolio will look.

We find that using this type of risk tolerance assessment works much better than saying a “moderately conservative” plan that may be losses of 10% or 20%. Moderately conservative is a subjective term, and we take the subjectiveness out of the equation with the assessment we create.

Click here to schedule a call with us to help you better understand your retirement risk tolerance.